Senior Research Associate
Income and Benefits Policy Center
"I am interested in understanding the short- and long-term distributional effects of demographic shifts and policy changes on family well-being. I use microsimulation models to estimate the likely effects of policy reforms, particularly regarding Social Security, pensions, savings, and retirement, on Government budgets and family income. These models are useful tools for informing policy makers of the distributional consequences of policy reforms."
Karen Smith's main area of expertise is the design and implementation of micro-simulation models in a social policy environment. Over the last 25 years, she has developed micro-simulation models for Social Security, pensions, taxation, wealth and savings, labor-supply, charitable giving, health expenditure, student aid, and welfare reform. Smith has played a lead role in the development of the Social Security Administration's Modeling Income in the Near Term (MINT) micro-simulation model, the Urban Institute's Dynamic Simulation of Income (DYNASIM) micro-simulation model, and the Social Security Administration's Policy Simulation Model (POLISIM).
Her recent work includes estimating the income and asset accumulation patterns of the adult population, analyzing the retirement decision, evaluating the effect of disability on earnings and mortality, and using statistical matching to impute earnings, taxes, and spouse characteristics. She has extensively analyzed asset accumulation and spend-down on a variety of cross-sectional and longitudinal data sets.
B.A., Computer Science and Economics, University of Michigan
Areas of expertise
Employment, earnings, retirement, pensions, wealth, microsimulation, data (SIPP, CPS, PUMS, HRS, PSID, SCF, others)
Selected Publications from Karen E. Smith Retirement Security and the Stock Market Crash: What Are the Possible Outcomes? The Disappearing Defined Benefit Pension and Its Potential Impact on the Retirement Incomes of Boomers
Publications by topic:
Tax Distribution and Economic Trends
See all publications by Karen E. Smith
Media Quotes and Appearances:
To contact this expert, call the Office of Public Affairs (202) 261-5709 or e-mail publicaffairs AT urban.org